Environment & Economy By Emerald Bensadoun 180 Views

How the U.S. wildfires are impacting air quality from B.C. to Ontario

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Smoke from U.S. wildfires burning in Washington, Oregon and California has made its way to western Canada and is having visible impacts on air quality in several provinces.

Grey skies and thick smoke have clouded parts of Manitoba and Ontario while most of British Columbia and Alberta continue to experience poor air quality brought on by the incoming pollution.

Anthony Farnell, chief meteorologist with Global News, said the fires “grew rapidly” over Labour Day weekend as record high temperatures collided with strong winds.

The smoke from the U.S. wildfires was initially blown west off the Pacific coast but then became trapped between a low and high area of pressure over the Rocky Mountains, he said, then made its way into the upper atmosphere, where it was pushed east.

“This is still creating very poor air quality for cities in the western U.S. and southern British Columbia and will remain a concern through the rest of the week,” said Farnell.

He said “milky white skies” were reported as far east as St. Johns, Newfoundland, while sunshine, filtered by smoke, has been lowering temperatures by “a degree or two cooler than it would normally be in many areas including southern Ontario and Quebec.”



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